“Always listen to your clients and audience’s needs before coming up with an idea because the solution to every problem starts with them.”
The global Interior Design market is estimated to grow at a significant rate, during the forecast period 2018-2025. Increment in global economy, changes in social environment and in the standard of living among millennials are vital factors expected to encourage the growth of the global Interior Design market in the upcoming period.
Moreover, the MENA region, especially in the UAE and KSA, is projected to be the fastest growing market throughout the forecast period due to the rise in the standard of living, rising taste towards home decor, and augmentation in the population.
Ghassan Abi Fadel, Tarek el Jaroudi, and Mohamad Sabouneh are 3 entrepreneurs who met during an AUB MBA entrepreneurship course in 2014 and wanted to start a business that benefited from both their diverse backgrounds and from the business expertise that the MBA program had provided. The idea was conceived ‘when the Designer, the Operations Manager, and the Venture Capitalist teamed up to create a solution that democratizes interior design.’
Moodfit is a Lebanese-based, personalized online decorating service and is the region’s first design startup to leverage crowdsourcing, offering users the chance to experience the luxury of an interior designer, a service that until now was often reserved for the wealthy.
In the startup’s early stages, Moodfit hit a few bumps on the road in terms of product validation, finding the right advisors, and closing funding rounds. According to Mohamad Sabouneh, the startup found it difficult to connect with the right people and advisors and this continued throughout the startup’s growth as well, “As we grew, we realized that we needed additional advisors in specific technical fields from development to marketing.”
Currently, Moodfit is planning on growing their operations outside of Lebanon which presents a bit of a challenge. Finding the right channels and partners is a struggle especially with Lebanon’s restrictions which are not suitable for startups to grow.
Despite the obstacles, Moodfit has been able to finish 200+ projects last year with additional 150+ up until April this year. Mohamad expressed his satisfaction saying, “it is very satisfying for us to see Moodfit grow from just an idea to what it is today. the effect that we have on people’s lives by providing such an easy and customizable furnishing process is validation for us that Moodfit’s solution works and caters for user’s needs.”
Arabnet played a big role in the startup’s early stages, helping them grow and develop their services. In the words of Mohamad, “Arabnet provided the perfect platform for Moodfit to get exposed to the region’s investors and potential partners. We participated in Arabnet Beirut Startup Battle 2017 and secured a spot at the Championship in Arabnet Dubai 2018, both of which helped us validate our model, perfect our pitch, and connect with investors and mentors and this is Arabnet’s added value to our startup.”